“Oh no! How can I enjoy Thanksgiving on Weight Watchers?” Well, that's actually not as difficult as you may think it is! I've designed this awesome guide to get you through Thanksgiving without having to feel like you need to sacrifice all your newfound healthy habits. Trust me, there is a way to enjoy Thanksgiving and still be healthy!
How Can I Navigate Thanksgiving on Weight Watchers?
I know for my family, our Thanksgiving table has a wide variety of dishes including mashed potatoes, candied yams, sweet potato casserole, yeast rolls, turkey, ham, lasagna… Shall I go on?
Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate everything you are thankful for. However, it does not need to derail the progress you are making getting healthier! Weight Watchers is all about portion control instead of restricting what foods you can and can not eat. Enjoy the holiday and track your points! The “point” is to keep yourself accountable for what you are consuming and be mindful of the choices you are making. Weight watchers is more than just a diet, it's truly a lifestyle change. I know you can do it!!
How can I make traditional Thanksgiving dishes healthier?
If your family is anything like mine, the traditional recipes are anything but light. My grandmother tends to go heavy-handed with cream, butter and oils in her recipes. This leads to higher fat content and ultimately, higher point values. There are a few simple swaps that you can make to lighten up these dishes that will help you stay on track without sacrificing taste.
Easy Healthy Swaps For Thanksgiving
- Nature's Own has a wonderful loaf of bread that contains double the fiber of regular white bread that you can swap for regular bread.
- You can substitute low-sodium chicken broth for the butter in your stuffing.
- Before you make gravy, take a slotted spoon and skim the fat off of the turkey drippings.
- Trade Green Bean Casserole for Roasted Green Bean Almondine or maple balsamic brussel sprouts.
- When making mashed potatoes, swap out the heavy cream, butter or mayonnaise for a non-fat, plain Greek yogurt.
- Instead of going overboard with mashed potatoes, try making Roasted Cauliflower Mash!
- Instead of making a full turkey, roast a boneless, skinless turkey breast.
Is It Possible To Cook A Turkey In The Instant Pot?
Save yourself a lot of time and frustration by cooking your turkey in the instant pot this year! Your turkey will stay moist and be ready to eat in less than an hour. One of the best recipes I have found for Instant Pot Turkey is from Recipesfromapantry I adapted some of her ingredients to be lower in points, but the concept remains the same. (Just remember to save some of the leftovers to make some delicious Turkey Marsala Soup the day after!)
- Start with a 2.5-3 lb boneless turkey breast.
- In a small bowl, combine 1.5 tbsp rosemary, 1 tbsp thyme, 1 tbsp cilantro or coriander, 1 tsp crushed garlic, 1 tsp salt.
- Spray “I can't believe it's not butter spray under the skin of the turkey and rub the seasoning blend in. Spray another layer of the butter spray on the skin as well.
- Add 1 cup of chicken stock to the Instant Pot insert.
- Add the trivet to the Instant Pot and then place the turkey breast on top of it with the skin side up.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot and turn valve so it would seal.
- Set to manual/high pressure for 35 mins and allow it to naturally release all of the pressure.
- At this point, you can put it in your oven broiler for 8-10 minutes to crisp up the skin with another layer of butter spray.
What Are the Best Weight Watchers Recipes for Appetizers?
A fruit and veggie tray is always a great route to go as it's all zero points (unless you are a diabetic, then watch your fruits!) If you must indulge in little bites, just be careful to monitor your points and don't overdo on your caloric intake.
- Turkish Carrot Dip
- Oven Baked Beet Chips
(serve this with the carrot dip!)
- Honey Dijon White Bean Dip
- Buffalo Chicken Wontons
- Feta Stuffed Mushrooms
- Butternut Squash Curry
- Cauliflower Ceviche
- Low Point Garlic Hummus
- Roasted Apple and Cauliflower Mash with Crispy Brussels Sprouts
What About Side Dishes?
I think weight watchers Thanksgiving side dishes should shine just as much as the main courses. After all, they make up the bulk of the plate! When you start building your meal, making small adjustments to your recipes can make the difference in high points vs low points. They will still taste amazing!
The stuffed acorn squash is a dish that is sure to impress your guests. The ingredients just scream fall flavors and the presentation is gorgeous on a platter! Here are some more of my favorites:
- Broccoli Stir Fry
- Brussels Sprouts with Maple Balsamic Glaze
- Roasted Apple and Cauliflower Mash with Crispy Brussels Sprouts
- Loaded Cauliflower Casserole
- Roasted Artichoke and Mozzarella Salad
- Crispy Green Bean “Fries”
- Baked Asparagus
- Kale Salad with Quinoa and Cranberries
- Cauliflower “Mac” and Cheese
What Are The Best Weight Watchers Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes?
My personal favorite that I'll be making this year is Banana Cream Frozen Yogurt. Once you realize just how easy and quick this dessert is to put together, you may find yourself making it quite often!
Maple Walnut Banana Cream Frozen Yogurt Recipe
The original recipe called for 6 oz of cream cheese but even when using a light version, the points can sneak up on you. Instead, I substituted Halo Top Vanilla Bean light ice cream to get the right consistency but you can also just double the amount of bananas you use!
Maple Walnut Banana Frozen Yogurt
The comforting fall flavors of maple and walnut in a banana frozen yogurt treat that's healthy and sweet!
- 1 cup non-fat,plain Greek yogurt
- 1 1/2 Tbsp imitation Vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup Walden Farms Maple Walnut Syrup
- 1 cup Halo Top Vanilla Bean Light Ice Cream
- 1 cup Frozen Bananas
- Peel and slice the bananas into thin pieces and freeze in a ziploc bag.
- Once the bananas are frozen, add them to a food processor or blender with the yogurt, Halo Top and vanilla.
- Blend until smooth.
- As it is blending, slowly incorporate the syrup.
- You can serve immediately for a milkshake consistency or freeze for a minimum of 4 hours in a tightly sealed container to firm up.
Feel free to add your favorite zero point toppings like sugar-free chocolate syrup or fresh fruit!
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Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1 grams
Amount Per Serving Calories 408Total Fat 19gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 15gCholesterol 13mgSodium 63mgCarbohydrates 49gFiber 4gSugar 31gProtein 13g
*This is an automatic calculation by a third party app*
Other Dessert Options:
Looking for a Thanksgiving Meal Plan? Check out Midlife Healthy Living's Post!
- Fruity Tiramisu Overnight Oats
- Instant Pot Pork Lo Mein with Shirataki Noodles
- The Health Benefits of Eating Salmon Dishes
- Summer Avocado Salad
- Picnic Perfection: Healthy and Easy-to-Prepare Snacks for Your Outdoor Adventures
- Zesty Lemon Popcorn
Do you have another recipe I should include on this list? Tell me all about it!
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